Friday, November 19, 2010

Portuquese Clams in a Saffron Garlic Sauce with Tasso

When we were on our trip we went to the same restaurant almost every night because of these clams. I have a really good taste memory so when I tried to recreate them for the Blog Tech's birthday dinner, they came out maybe even better than the ones at the restaurant. BTW....the BT told me to tell everyone thank you very much for all the birthday greetings.

In the future I would use poblano peppers but I was out of them so I used a mix of red and green bells. I also used about a cup and a half of oven roasted tomatoes sliced into strips.

I diced one large onion and about 3 cloves of garlic.

Then I diced up about 1 pound of tasso ham. The tasso really makes this dish. I used to make a lot of Cajun food and always cooked with tasso. While I was making this recipe I was wondering why I don't use tasso in my other cooking. I am going to start doing just that. Nothing gives food quite the deep smokey flavor that tasso does. I think a good split pea soup with tasso would be wonderful.

I sauteed the onion and garlic in some olive oil. The I added the peppers. I forgot to take a few pics. I then added salt and pepper, 2 T. Thai chili paste, 1/2 cup tomato paste, 1 cup of white wine, the oven roasted tomatoes, tasso, maggi, saffron steeped in warm water, 2 cups of clam juice, 4 cups of beef stock and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. This is not too spicy but just gives a slight bit of heat by the end of the meal. I cooked this over medium low heat until the flavors mingled and I had it spiced correctly.

I cooked it down a bit. It thickens just a little.

Then I added 96 little neck clams and brought it back to a boil.

When the clams are open the dish is ready.

I served this with garlic bread for dipping. The Blog Tech and his father ate about 50 of the clams.

I steamed an additional 24 clams separately for you know who! I expected Teddy to say Body of Christ. Doesn't it look like she is getting communion?

And God Bless Mama!!!